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Check list for company name change – the legal aspects

Time For Change

The most time consuming element of this process is the time between decision to change and actually implementing it.

In my case, I decided to rebrand Northern Startup 2.0 in Feb to Techcelerate with help from my friends through tweets. We changed the website and many other sales and marketing collateral over the months of Feb and March, but postponed the legal changes that are necessary due to lack of prioritisation (or stupidity). My legal adviser (thanks Stuart) even went to the extent of sending me a form for my signature to advice the Companies House, with a warning that someone else could register the new name, if I prolong the process. At the end, a simple visit to the companies house website for another matter, got me started. And once you started, keep up the momentum to at least change the followings:

The actual process is so simple and friendly. Here goes:

1. If no one has taken the new name, simply log in to your companies house account and change it. It costs £8 (£10 through forms). Make sure you receive the new registration document. I have uploaded ours to edocr to make it easier for us to find.
2. Companies House will notify the changes to HMRC for tax purposes. Log in to your HMRC account 14 days after notifying the companies house to ensure changes have taken place.
3. Change paypal account on line.
4. Change your on-line banking details. I have just updated HSBC online details, but I was advised yesterday to write to the bank for new cheque books and credit cards.
5. Update your accounts software to reflect the correct company name on your accounts receivable invoices, VAT submissions, etc.
6. Update your website

Company name change for Techcelerate

Above are the most critical (Companies House, HMRC, payment channels and the ability to collect payments). All done on-line except the letter writing requested by HSBC. Hope this is of some help.

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  • ivanpope

    Having done this myself, I’d just like to clarify one thing – the company with the new name is exactly the same company as with the old name. It has the same company number. It is important to keep the old company certificate because there may well be times when you get a query over something that carries the old company name. These can occur years later, for example with domain name registrations. Having the old certificate to hand makes them much easier to deal with.

    • Anonymous

      Ivan, thanks for the invaluable advice. Perhaps there ought to be a check list for changing domains.

      Best regards